The study of English at the University of St Andrews has a long and distinguished history that is sustained in the scholarly, critical, and creative dynamism of today's School of English.
In the present day, the School enjoys an international reputation as a centre for both academic research and literary creativity. Amongst UK institutions, the School of English has recently been ranked 2nd in the Guardian University Guide and 3rd in the Complete University Guide.
The School's richest inheritance, however, is its collegiality: we pride ourselves on our friendliness, and on our common enthusiasm for great literature.
REF 2014: UK Research Excellence Framework 2014 Results
The School of English has been ranked third in the UK, and first in Scotland, in the most recent league table of research intensive departments (2014). With over 90% of our staff submitted, 86% of our research has been rated world leading and internationally excellent. In the previous research assessment exercise (2008) we were also ranked in the top ten, making the School one of the UK's consistently outstanding research departments.
Professor Douglas Dunn, former Head of the School of English, has published his first collection of selected short stories, The Bagpiping People, with Turnpike Books. Widely considered one of the finest poets of our time, this collection of Douglas's stories is drawn from two previous volumes published in 1985 and 1995, as well as from stories published in The New Yorker. Set in Scotland, with many depicting his natal Renfrewshire, the stories focus on family secrets and the hidden desires of individuals, capturing the bonds and tensions of family and community life, as well as the possibility of righting the wrongs of the past. From the parental self-deceptions and the growing independence of a child depicted in 'Bobby's Room', to the description of the Scotland that lies behind that seen by tourists in 'The Canoes', each story portrays a whole, vivid world that allows a glimpse into an individual life, while simultaneously asserting the individuality of that life.